By Lisa Loomis

After initial reports that Waitsfield's proposed water project had passed by a vote of 206 to 199, town officials are reporting that the ballots must be recounted due to an anomaly. 

That anomaly, explained Town Administrator Valerie Capels, was discovered by Town Clerk Jennifer Peterson, who must certify the vote and the ballots. The town checklist showed that 426 people cast ballots and the results announced on Tuesday night, June 10, after the polls closed added up to 406.

The results released Tuesday night after vote counters completed their work show 206 yes votes, 199 no votes and one spoiled ballot. On Wednesday, June 11, Peterson realized from the town's voter checklist, that 426 people had cast ballots, 20 more than the Tuesday vote tallies.

By Vermont statute, in an instance such as this, a member of the town's Board of Civil Authority (BCA) must make a formal request for a recount of the votes. Select Board (and BCA) member Kate Williams was submitting such a request as <MI>The Valley Reporter<D> went to press on June 11. A recount must be held between three and five days after the request is received.

Waitsfield voters cast ballots on Tuesday for a proposed municipal water system to serve Waitsfield Village, Irasville, the Tremblay Road and the Old County Road. The project will cost $7.5 million and the town has obtained $3.6 million in grants. All the operating costs of the system will be borne by users. The project will provide fire protection to the service area with hydrants.

The Tuesday vote followed a Town Meeting vote where voters turned down the project by a vote of 442 to 398.